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USAA Renters Insurance Review 2022

Unlike most companies, USAA covers flood and earthquake damage for renters. But its policies aren’t available to everyone.
Jan. 13, 2022
Insurance, Renters Insurance
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USAA serves veterans and active members of the military, offering not only insurance but also financial products such as bank accounts, credit cards and investments. If you’re eligible to buy a policy, USAA renters insurance is well worth considering.

The company’s renters policies are more comprehensive than most. Nearly every insurer will cover things like theft and fire damage, but USAA also covers your stuff if it’s destroyed by flooding or earthquakes. (Insurance for these disasters typically costs extra from other companies.)

Even with this additional coverage, USAA renters insurance is less expensive than the national average, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis.

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To buy renters insurance from USAA, you must be a USAA member. The following people are eligible for membership:

  • Active members of the U.S. military, including the National Guard and reserves.
  • Military veterans who were honorably discharged.
  • Precommissioned officers.
  • Children of USAA members.
  • Spouses of active military or veterans.
  • Widowed spouses of USAA members, or divorced spouses who haven’t remarried.
Best for: Veterans or active members of the military who are living in a rental or on a base.

USAA renters insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
No extra charge for flood or earthquake coverage.Available to veterans, active members of the military and their families only.
Far fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Has options tailored for active-duty military, including no-deductible coverage for uniforms.

How USAA renters insurance rates

5.0 NerdWallet rating

USAA renters insurance earned 5 out of 5 stars for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The renters insurance scoring formula takes into account policy coverage options and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, the financial strength of the company, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Based on these ratings, USAA is among NerdWallet’s Best Renters Insurance Companies for 2022.

Availability

USAA renters insurance is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It may also be available if you’re stationed outside the U.S. Contact USAA directly for specifics.

» MORE: The best cheap renters insurance

USAA renters insurance coverage

Landlords sometimes require tenants to purchase a policy with a minimum amount of renters liability insurance, but otherwise, the coverage you choose is generally up to you. Below are the four types of coverage included in most standard renters policies:

Type of coverageWhat it does
Personal propertyCovers your clothing, furniture, electronics and other belongings.
Loss of usePays for hotel stays, restaurant meals or other expenses if you have to live elsewhere while your home undergoes covered repairs.
LiabilityPays out if you're responsible for injuries to other people or damage to their property.
Medical paymentsCovers injuries to other people in your home, regardless of fault.

For more details, see what renters insurance is and what it covers.

USAA also includes the following types of coverage, which often cost extra from other companies:

  • Flood insurance. USAA works with the National Flood Insurance Program to cover your items in case of flood damage.
  • Earthquake coverage. USAA will also pay for damage due to earthquakes.
  • Replacement cost coverage. Some renters policies cover your items on an “actual cash value” basis. That means if a fire damages your 5-year-old leather recliner, the insurance company would pay out only what the chair is worth at the time of the accident (likely far less than what you originally paid for it). With replacement cost coverage, USAA will pay you enough to buy a new recliner.

USAA doesn’t charge a deductible if your military uniform or equipment is damaged in a covered claim. The company may also cover your belongings if you’re deployed overseas or living outside the U.S.

You can pay extra to add the following types of coverage to a USAA renters policy:

  • Electronics. Adding USAA’s tech package gives your gadgets additional coverage beyond what’s offered in a standard renters policy. Say you spill coffee on your laptop keyboard or lose your phone on the subway — your device will be covered, minus a $250 deductible.
  • Valuable personal property. Got expensive jewelry, musical instruments or guns? Because renters policies often have limited coverage for these items, you may want to buy extra insurance to be sure you’re fully covered. Unlike your renters policy, the valuable personal property coverage has no deductible. An appraisal may be required.

USAA renters insurance rates

The average annual cost of USAA renters insurance is $132 a year, or $11 a month, according to NerdWallet’s rate analysis. That’s cheaper than the national average of $168 per year. Here’s how USAA’s rates stack up against some of its competitors.

Our sample rates were calculated for 30-year-old renters with a $500 deductible, $30,000 of personal property coverage and $100,000 in liability coverage.

» MORE: The average cost of renters insurance in every state

Discounts

Depending on where you live, you may be able to save on your renters policy by:

  • Bundling it with a USAA auto policy.
  • Not filing any claims.
  • Adding a home security system.
  • Living in military housing.

Consumer complaints

USAA received far fewer home insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (NAIC home insurance complaints also cover other home policy types, including mobile home, renters and condo insurance.)

» MORE: USAA life insurance review

Consumer experience

Website: You can log in to the USAA website to get a quote, pay your bill, view policy documents and file claims. The site offers general insurance information plus advice on topics such as preparing for natural disasters and life in the military.

App: The company’s highly-rated mobile app lets you access not only your insurance policies but also other USAA products such as bank accounts and credit cards. You can use the app to pay bills, report claims and see policy information.

Renters insurance buying guide

Before you compare renters insurance companies, gather key information such as the address of the rental and any safety and security features the unit has.

You should also figure out how much coverage you need. Take a quick inventory of your belongings: How much would it cost you to replace them? Include all furniture, electronic devices, clothing, jewelry and household items. This total is the minimum amount of personal property insurance you should have.

Your liability limit should be high enough to cover your net worth, while your deductible should be an amount you’d feel comfortable paying in an emergency.

When evaluating renters insurance quotes, make sure each rate estimate includes the same coverage limits and deductibles so you know you’re getting a fair comparison. While it’s tempting to buy the cheapest policy, you may also want to read reviews of your preferred company to make sure it offers good customer service.

How to file a renters insurance claim

File as soon as it’s safe. The sooner you report a theft or damage to your home, the sooner your insurer can assign an adjuster and start working on paying out your claim. Some companies let you file claims online or through their app, while in other cases you may have to call your agent or insurer instead. Have your policy number handy.

Document the damage. Bolster your claim by taking photos or video of all damage. If something was stolen, report it to the police before you contact your insurance company. Your insurer may ask for a copy of their report.

Prevent further damage. After you’ve taken pictures of everything broken or destroyed, take steps to prevent additional damage, such as putting a tarp over a broken window to protect your belongings inside. Keep receipts for any supplies you buy, as your insurer may reimburse you later.

» MORE: 6 reasons not to skip renters insurance

Frequently asked questions

Does USAA renters insurance cover food spoilage?

Yes, food that spoils in a power outage is covered up to $500 with no deductible.

Does USAA renters insurance cover items in a storage unit?

Yes, your belongings are covered while they’re in a storage unit either in the U.S. or overseas. Check with your agent about specific rules regarding storage.

What other types of insurance does USAA offer?

USAA also sells auto, homeowners, boat and life insurance, among other policies. Learn more about USAA auto insurance.

Other renters insurance companies to consider

Not ready to make a decision? You may be interested in these other renters insurance companies:

» MORE: USAA homeowners insurance review

Renters insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s renters insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverage options, discounts, online experience and more. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Renters insurance rates methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for multiple insurance companies in every ZIP code across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We also averaged rates by city. Sample tenants were nonsmokers with good credit and no recent claims, living in a two-bedroom apartment. They had a $500 deductible and the following coverage limits:

  • $30,000 in personal property coverage.
  • $100,000 in liability coverage.
  • $10,000 in additional living expenses coverage.
  • $1,000 in medical payments coverage.

These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

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